A1 Team Australia seat holder Alan Jones has said he is pleased with the progress his latest charge, John Martin, is showing in the countdown to the start of the new A1 Grand Prix season.
Despite the financial concerns swirling about the series, preparations remain in full swing for the opening round of season five, the Nitro SuperGP in Surfers Paradise, and Jones is confident that the home team will have a potential frontrunner when the time comes to hit the track.
Martin, the driver most likely to be in the Australian cockpit this October, took a victory in the latest Superleague Formula event at Donington Park, triumphing in the recently-introduced 'weekend winner' shoot-out featuring the top three from the two longer races held over the weekend. Driving the Glasgow Rangers car, Martin qualified by finishing second in the weekend's opening 44 minutes plus one lap event, before coming through to victory in the €100,000 finale - but not before the blue-and-white machine had had to be hastily repaired after colliding with rival AC Milan on the opening lap of race two.
“I came out of the pits effectively leading race one, but was screwed a win due to a car, yet to pit, not getting out of the way," the Australian fumed, "Nevertheless, it was my second runners-up place in consecutive race weekends.
"Race two was over before it started after a opening lap collision with AC Milan, but victory in the Super Final was very sweet. The team did an awesome job – taking just half the time to repair it would normally. The car wasn't perfect but it was still good enough to win!”
Jones, keeping an eye on his prospect's results, admitted that he was pleased with progress.
“John is certainly fulfilling the expectations which we have all had of him,” the 1980 F1 world champion Jones, “He is proving that he is getting better and better and stronger as a driver. The miles he is doing in Europe, and these wins, will help his confidence - and, of course, bode well for his next outing in the A1 Team Australia car.”